Sale of Public Lands

February 22, 2006

Our weekly "Clock is Ticking" email led us to an Associated Press Report that alerted us to the intention of the Bush Administration to sell off public lands in order to fund rural schools and roads. In response, Bill sent the following letter to our Congressional (House and Senate) representatives. We urge our readers to do likewise.

I write to oppose the administration's proposal to sell 300,000 acres of national forest land. The proposed national forest land sales are reportedly needed in order to raise over $800,000,000 over the next five years for rural schools. At the same time, however, the current budget makes cuts for education by $3.1 billion while the Iraq war is costing us 4.5 billion per month. The administration continues to cut social spending to fund the Iraq war and Homeland Security - examples are the $19 billion increase in Pentagon spending and a $20 billion cut in social programs. Meanwhile the administration advocates a $350 billion dollar tax cut in the lowest taxed (and richest) industrialized nation in the world. Where are our priorities? What kind of debt are we leaving for our children? It seems that our fiscal priorities are out of control.

It is now clear, as announced by Tony Blair, that reductions in forest land worldwide contribute to global warming. Are we going to further contribute to this global problem by selling off national forest land for a one time contribution to rural school programs - which will need the same contributions year after year after year? Truly the administration appears not to see the forest for the trees.

I urge you to please vote to oppose this land sale and ask you to encourage your colleagues to oppose it also. Please do whatever you can.

Thank you.

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